For some kids who are just entering their first year in primary school, wearing a uniform can make them feel like they have become “big kids”. But not all schools require wearing uniforms which is why we tell our kids that studying does not necessarily mean that you have to have a uniform to wear to school every single day.
Years back, wearing school uniforms were required only in private schools while children enrolled in public schools can wear whatever type of clothing they want as long as these fit in the school’s dress code. However, the National Center for Education Statistics has shown that there has been a 12-20% increase in the percentage of public schools that require their students to wear uniforms by the year 2014. Furthermore, primary schools have received a higher increase of 23% in public schools that required uniforms.
If you are a parent and you are looking for a school for your kindergartener, you might be choosing whether you should enroll your child in a school that has a uniform policy or one which does not. Practically, the question on how much do school uniforms cost can have quite an impact on our overall family’s budget which is why school uniforms are greatly considered. This same question applies if your child is enrolled in a school that changed their dress code into one that requires a school uniform.
In this article, we will discuss the cost of school uniforms and the things you should consider with it.
How Much Do School Uniforms Cost?
There has been much argument among parents on which type of clothing for school can be more expensive—uniform or regular clothing? While letting your child wear the available clothing that he or she already have can be inexpensive at the moment, studies conducted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) have shown that 77 percent of schools have an estimate $150 or less cost of school uniforms. This can be more cost-efficient since your child’s uniform can be worn throughout the year while you will need to purchase different types of regular clothing for school as the seasons change.
Different schools have different school uniforms and pieces of clothing per uniform set. This dictates how much do school uniforms cost from school to school. Generally, one standard set of school uniform can range from $20-$200 depending on the quality and pricing provided by the retailer. This can be about $100-$600 for a set of four or five uniforms that your child can use for the whole year. If you are going to purchase shoes separately, this can cost anywhere from $15-$70. As such, the standard cost of a uniform for preschool has an average cost of $234 per year.
2015 statistics done by statisticbrain.com have shown that 23% of all public and private schools in the US have implemented a uniform policy and the numbers continue to rise each year. This coincides with the studies by the NAESP stating that the rise in uniform policy among schools not only lessens the cost of clothing purchases per year, there are also benefits that come along with it. For example, bullying related to who wears branded or not in schools are eliminated when everyone wears the same type of clothing. Sexual harassments and indecent clothing are also avoided when students are given a uniform dress code that they have to follow.
Still, there are parents who argue that buying uniforms can be quite expensive especially if they have more than one children studying. School uniforms can be a significant additional expense to the overall costs of your child’s education. With this in mind, the problem on how much do school uniforms cost can be addressed by trying to find ways on how to lessen the expenses which will be tackled in the following section.
How can you lower the Cost of School Uniforms?
While school uniforms may have some advantages in the long run, especially if your younger children can still use them in the future, there are still some considerations with regards to the cost of school uniforms. Purchasing sets of school uniform for a whole week can be quite costly especially if the school you are eyeing for your child has a school uniform that has logos and designs. A school uniform that has their insignia embroidered on their uniform can cost way more than one which doesn’t have one.
If this is the case, check if the school has used uniform sales or swaps. Some schools like the Marymount School in New York sell used uniforms during the spring and autumn seasons. The St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School has a “swap shop” where you can buy or swap old uniform every month depending on the schedule. If the local school in your area does not sell or swap old uniforms, you can also try inquiring for stores or groups that sell used but quality uniforms.
Most of the time, public schools have a school uniform or dress code that does not require you to purchase directly from them. There are schools that have a simple dress code of khaki pants or skirt and a polo shirt on the school’s color. When purchasing for school uniforms, check with the school what is the allowed school uniform and who their recommended retail stores are.
Oftentimes, standardized uniforms can be purchased from Walmart, Kmart, Sears, Target, and other retail stores. You can also check online for retail stores that sell school uniforms like the classroomuniforms.com and charteruniforms.com. The cost of school uniforms from retail outlets and smaller stores are often lower as compared to directly purchasing them from the school or their official provider. Still, check thoroughly since this may not the case every time.
With these things in mind, you can determine how much do school uniforms cost depending on the actual requirements of the school and what they will prescribe as their standard uniform. Depending on your budget for your child’s education, you can either opt for a school with a uniform or one that does not require one.